NOTE: Allen Edmonds ran an extra 30% off sale items deal last week, which dropped these to $140. Yes, $140 for made in Port Washington Wisconsin, recraftable, classic cap-toe oxfords. Many of us decided to give them a go at that price. Read on to find out if it was worth it.
I think if one were to speak in the language of memes, this would pretty much sum it up.
But it feels here, like there should be… words.
The leather just ain’t the same.
These things are full of contradictions.
Weirdly smooth leather. Yet to call it “plasticky” would be unfair. They’re too flexible/pliable.
The Bond Street cap toe in Mahogany was featured a few times here on Dappered over the last week or so, especially when they went from $199 to $140. What a deal, right? But this almost glass smooth, semi-glossy leather upper is not what many of us were expecting. They are, to a seasoned Allen Edmonds customer, kinda sorta starting to look like cheap corrected-grain department store shoes. And bad experiences with those cheap shoes is precisely what sent a lot of us running into the arms of a heritage footwear maker like Allen Edmonds.
So is the Bond Street in Mahogany a $400 pair of shoes? No. Are they $199 shoes? Depends, but probably not. Are they $140 shoes? They just might be. For the right guy and the right demo.
Still recraftable. Still made in Port Washington WI.
Allen Edmonds appears to have been going for something and someone pretty specific here. What they failed to do was clue their long-time customer base in on what they were doing. And thus, a swing and a miss for most. But here’s an attempt at some critical thinking, and perhaps explaining, just who these super smooth oxfords are supposed to be for…
The “mahogany” leather seems like its been processed purposefully to be soft and smooth.
But to long time AE fans, it’s a little too “perfect”.
Unless it’s pure cost-cutting (which it could be, who knows), I’m thinking these shoes were created for a younger customer in mind. Someone who would look at classic Allen Edmonds leathers like Walnut, Oxblood, Chili, etc… and think they look… dull. Someone who would pick up a thick-leather pair of dress shoes with a traditional Goodyear welt and think “holy crap, these are not my Ultraboosts… who wears these cement blocks on their feet??” Someone who would think about the task of shining and conditioning shoes not as a methodical bit of zen, but instead as a pure chore.
“Cool shoes should have some real shine, right?”
Unless they’re these. And then they do.
Non-skid rubber “pods” for traction.
Not sure why the right side is listing hard off center. Whoops?
Here’s a convoluted metaphor (simile? analogy?)… The mahogany leather on the Bond street is like cooking with a non stick pan. It’s smooth. It’s low maintenance. It’s modern.
It also just doesn’t have the character or flavor that comes with an old-school pan (cast iron perhaps?) and a bit of olive oil.
Almost glass smooth, uniform in appearance leather.
Also, notice the exposed lightish gray “stitch leather HERE” guide line at the throat,
where the vamp sweeps up and over the lacing panels. Another whoops.
Fit feels pretty true. I’m not personally feeling that wider toe box they speak of, but I’m not crushed or cramped either. My normally 10.5 D feet took to the 10.5 in the Bond Street quite well.
If you want a simple cap toe in a deep, reddish brown hue, go with the Park Avenue in burnished chili. Those are currently on sale for $237 during the Nordstrom anniversary sale. You can expect the leather on the Park Ave. to be the regular, thicker, deeper looking stuff, which should also hold conditioning/shoe creme much better compared to the basically non-porous Bond street.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pan to season.